We know the story of Jonah and the big fish. God told Jonah to go preach to the people of Nineveh, but Jonah didn’t like that idea. The citizens of Nineveh were known for their cruelty, and Jonah was angry God would choose to offer them mercy. He decided to rebel and hopped a boat to Joppa.
God was rather persistent in his dealings with His wayward prophet and sent a storm to rock the boat. The sailors threw Jonah overboard, God’s prize guppy swallowed him, and he spent three days and nights in the belly of the fish thinking the situation over.
The fish spit Jonah up onto a beach, and he decided to try things God’s way. He walked through Nineveh preaching the coming judgment of God, then sat down on a hill outside the city to watch. Miracles of miracles, the people actually listened. From the king on his throne to the poorest of the poor, the whole city cried out to God. God was gracious and merciful and spared the city. A very happy ending.
But Jonah wasn’t happy; Jonah was angry. Things hadn’t gone his way. Although an entire group of people turned from sin to God, he wanted to hold to his anger.
Anger is comfortable. It feels natural. Unfortunately, it can also cloud our minds to reality. It is totally normal to react in anger to perceived injustice. But to continue to hold to our anger when the injustice is gone is not. Anger becomes a dangerous force, blinding us to what is real and causing us to take actions which are unnecessary.
Anger has been described as walking through a doorway in response to a situation. We want to stop and stand in the doorway and bask in the feeling. We want someone to pay for our anger, but no one ever can. Our anger has become, not a response, but an end unto itself and that cannot be resolved.
Keep anger in its place. Walk through the door. Allow it to run its course.